In the same way that a dream reveals the private life and secrets of an individual, myths tell us secrets about society and our species. The secrets that myths reveal about our species are only beginning to be understood.

I am a practical mystic. I don’t consider something to be true unless I’ve experienced it personally, and even then I accept it on a relative basis. If it’s true for me, maybe it’s true for others. Maybe not.

A life characterized by terror and anxiety propelled me to search for comfort and integration. Studying Castaneda starting around 1971, I launched a nighttime career of lucid dreaming. Not particularly adept, I still established dream as a refuge and a resource that over decades has provided both solace and instruction about myself.

In the 1980s, I explored hypnotherapy after becoming a practitioner of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, concentrating on the work of Milton Erickson. Through a combination of deep dream exploration and hypnosis studies, I acquired an ability to shift consciousness fairly easily. Unconscious material would rise to the surface with relatively few barriers. As an artist, this ability is useful. As a mystic, this ability feels nurturing.

Dream themes have started and developed, unfolding over years or decades, established closure and then moved on, communication successfully imparted. I feel accompanied by my unconscious. I am provided these gifts of story and then often insight. Sometimes, while still dreaming, the meaning of the dream is offered.

In the last two or three years, I have remembered few dreams. My life has acquired a quality of dream that seems to make my remembering dreams less necessary. Awake, I feel I’m acting a role, dancing a dance, reading from a script provided me by the producers of my dreams, except the productions are unfolding in society. I’ve experienced a shift from receiving gifts from and engaging in conversations with my unconscious to receiving gifts and engaging in conversations with consciousness. It’s as if dream has expanded to occupy the everyday.

Dream themes have emerged in life. What formerly only occurred while I was sleeping now happens in the everyday.

In the way I used to face and embrace my dreams that resulted in discoveries about myself, I now listen, watch and feel for meaning in the productions of society. Joseph Campbell and C. G. Jung were pioneers in the interpretation of myth. Their teachings apply to our everyday. In contemporary society, we produce myth like the spring makes dandelions. We are hardly even aware that most of what we make is myth.

Having spent so many years traveling the corridors of dream and having stepped outside, I see that the same dynamic is engaged. So, I feel/listen to the world at large in the way I’ve grown used to listening to myself. The world feels the same outside as it feels inside. The world is filled with story, interpretations of experience, experience obfuscated by our unique culture, experience confused by the way our species has evolved.

Stories are everywhere. We bathe in stories when sleeping or awake. It fascinates me what life was like before the story when we were babies, when we were first learning gesture in Africa, when we were autistic. Stories are the mother’s milk of being human. Consider what we might be drinking when we are grown.


Comments

This entry was posted on Thursday, October 30th, 2008 at 7:18 am and is filed under 10-Myth and Story, Auto-Biography, Myth/Story, Society. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
3 Comments so far

  1. Heresiarch on October 31, 2008 8:27 pm
  2. Mel on November 1, 2008 1:58 pm
  3. Little Brain on March 19, 2009 8:29 am

    Cool, this is such a use…

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